What would Nathaniel T. Kidder do?
Well, he may have done what Town Meeting Members decided to do after a long two-night session of the Feb. 25-26 Special Town Meeting: wait.
The decision to put on hold Warrant Article 2 for a later deliberation and determination is the right one.
Article 2 asks: “To see if the Town will vote to transfer the former Kidder Branch Library property at 101 Blue Hills Parkway from the Trustees of the Milton Public Library for library purposes to the Trustees of the Milton Public Library for the purposes of sale of said property, and further, to authorize the Trustees of the Milton Public Library to sell said property for such consideration and upon such terms as the Trustees of the Public Library deem appropriate.”
More time to review the language of the Kidder House Association document is needed by the library trustees, town officials and other interested parties.
On the miltonhistoricsociety.org website, some information on the Kidder Branch Library can be found: “This mislabeled Milton postcard shows the original building used by the Kidder Library at 101 Blue Hill Parkway in the “Mattapan” section of Milton. The Milton Public Library's Mattapan Branch (which opened in 1900) was housed in unsatisfactory quarters, and in 1911, through the kindness of Nathaniel T. Kidder rooms were made available in this house which he and a few friends had established in that part of town. Years later Mr. Kidder and his friends were to give this land to the Town, and on it was built in 1929 the present brick Kidder Branch Library which serves the Mattapan area of Milton. The old building was moved to Chilton Park and converted into a residence.”
One point to consider includes the future of another former library branch, the site in East Milton that is now home to the Milton Art Center. If the former Kidder Branch Library building, now home to Discovery Schoolhouse, Inc. where preschoolers and teachers learn and work, is sold, will the sale of the MAC building be far behind?
Both tenants — Discovery Schoolhouse and the Milton Art Center — pay a monthly rent to the Board of Library Trustees for the use of the respective building.
Neither tenant, and the people who benefit from the services offered by both tenants, have a place to go. Certainly, not at the moment. Let’s not rush to force a vacating premises date on either occupant.